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PhD Candidate in Biophysics / Bionanotechnology

About the job

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is to obtain a doctoral degree.

  • Are you a passionate researcher?
  • Do you have a MSc degree in Biophysics, Nanoscience applied within biology or equivalent?
  • Are you motivated to work in a diverse and multidisciplinary team?
  • Would you like to help this team to solve fundamental questions on nanoscale characterization of soft matter?

If so, you may be the person we are looking for to work in a PhD project supervised by Prof Bjørn T Stokke at NTNU in Trondheim, Norway, as part of the EU MSCA Doctoral Network NanoRAM: Emerging Nanotools for Soft Matter Characterisation and Manipulation. The NanoRAM doctoral network brings together people and organizations from across the world to train a new generation of scientists in the development and application of newly developed manipulation and characterization nanotools in soft matter research. The PhD candidate will go on secondments to partner organizations as well as participate in consortium meetings and workshops. Read more about NanoRAM at

The PhD project of NanoRAM at NTNU is mainly experimental and directed to develop new fundamental knowledge into principles governing membraneless cellular organization. The objective is to scrutinize the governing nanoscale principles of liquid-liquid phase separated (LLPS) states using a combination of experimental tools bridging the length scale from individual interaction sites to mesoscale. To achieve this nano- and mesoscale strategies based on e.g. dynamic force spectroscopy (AFM-based) and advanced optical imaging will be developed and applied to in vitro macromolecular systems undergoing LLPS.

Duties of the position

The PhD candidate will work on a research project involving the experimental characterization of molecular and mesoscale properties of biomacromolecules undergoing liquid-liquid phase separation. In particular, the application of nanoscale tools such as AFM-based dynamic force spectroscopy and advanced optical imaging tools is expected to provide a framework for understanding how parameters of the biomacromolecular interaction landscape govern the mesoscale properties of the LLPS. Furthermore, the approach may extend to also include microfluidics, including design and realization of custom channel networks, as a tool within the LLPS characterization. The acquired knowledge and skills, will advance the application of nanoscale tools within the soft matter research, with relevance for aspects of cellular organization. 

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in biophysics, (bio)nanotechnology, bioengineering or a closely related field.
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree program, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education.
  • Master's students can apply.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program.
  • You must have document written and oral English language skills.

Applicants must comply with the MSCA Doctoral Network eligibility criteria:

  • i) Must be a doctoral candidate, i.e. not already in possession of a doctoral degree at the date of the recruitment.
  • ii) Mobility rule: The candidate can be of any nationality but must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with Regulations on terms of employment for positions such as postdoctoral fellow, Phd candidate, research assistant and specialist candidate and Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant 

Preferred selection criteria

  • Documented collaborative skills.
  • Hands-on research experience with nanoscale characterization tools such as AFM on biological samples and advanced optical microscopy.
  • Previous knowledge that includes or combines topics such as microfluidics including custom designing and fabrication microfluidic devices.
  • Interest in develop new fundamental structure – function relationships related to mechanism of biomacromocular structures and their ability to form and control properties of their mesoscale states (LLPS).

Personal characteristics

  • Enthusiastic and highly motivated.
  • Creative, good at finding solutions.
  • Able to work effectively on your own and as part of a team.
  • Diligent, thorough, and hard-working.
  • Able to work in a structured and goal-oriented fashion.

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

We offer

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 532 200 per annum before tax. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years .

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in biophysics within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

The position is subject to external funding.

It is a prerequisite you must be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Publications and other scientific work must be attached to the application. Please note that your application will be considered based solely on information submitted by the application deadline. You must therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience fulfil the criteria specified above.

The application must include : 

  • CV and certificates
  • Motivation letter for the position.
  • Transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted.
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position.
  • Name and contact information of three referees
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work
  • If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

We will take joint work into account. If it is difficult to identify your efforts in the joint work, you must enclose a short description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

General information

Working at NTNU

NTNU believes that inclusion and diversity is our strength. We want to recruit people with different competencies, educational backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to solving our social responsibilities within education and research. We will facilitate for our employees’ needs.

NTNU is working actively to increase the number of women employed in scientific positions and has a number of resources to promote equality. 

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

A public list of applicants with name, age, job title and municipality of residence is prepared after the application deadline. If you want to reserve yourself from entry on the public applicant list, this must be justified. Assessment will be made in accordance with current legislation. You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Professor Bjørn Torger Stokke,email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Magnus Gautvik, e-mail:

If you think this looks interesting and in line with your qualifications, please submit your application electronically via jobbnorge.noo with your CV, diplomas and certificates attached. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Upon request, you must be able to obtain certified copies of your documentation.  

Application deadline: 31.03.24


NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Physics

Our research and teaching are both experimental and theoretical, covering a wide range of disciplines. Our activities contribute to development of new medical technology and to finding solutions for the next generation’s communication technology, energy utilization and development of materials. The Department of Physics is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Deadline 31st March 2024
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Høgskoleringen 5, 7034 Trondheim

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